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Social interaction is most difficult when done with people you dislike or find annoying. No matter whether you’ve scored an invite to a Royal Wedding or just another barn dance, you’re bound to be confronted by a social situation you’d rather not have repeated.

But how do you make sure that the insipid person standing before you talking about their eggplant garden doesn’t try it again? It’ll be tough, there may be rumours about you later, people you like may also begin to avoid you but in the end it will all be worth it. Here are your options:

(For the purpose of this piece, let’s call this human phenomenon Exasperating wherever necessary.)

  • Talk about your job in great detail – I’m talking about hair and eye colour of all your colleagues kind of detail. If you work as a doctor or firefighter or anything interesting at all, of course, this won’t work. So if you do have a fascinating job, pretend you work as a bean counter (literally) or someone who is paid to stare at walls. No part of your discourse should be interesting.
  • Carry a small notepad and pen with you. While Exasperating talks, look into their ears and nose. Inspect their hair. Grab their flanks – presumably checking for fat. Put your hands in their mouth and feel around. All the while, nod your head and rapidly take notes and make disappointed sounds. Sigh.
  • I got this one from a child I saw at a coffee shop yesterday. When you’re standing near Exasperating, suddenly fall over (make it look like they pushed you). Struggle to stand up – stagger, sway and look in wide-eyed horror at Exasperating. Screaming will add that extra something to the act.

(Really weird kid! I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet him again.)

  • Ask many personal questions – the creepy kind. Medical stuff even!

Example: When was the last time you had colon irrigation therapy? Did you enjoy it?

  • Stick your fingers in your ears, close your eyes and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Remember, this is the most annoying rhyme and is it’s ability to repel people is much improved if you’re screaming it and not singing. By the time you open your eyes and ears again, they’ll be long gone.
  • Mention in passing how a recent accident made you lose bladder control and now you have to wear adult diapers. As soon as Exasperating starts talking about something dull, stop them to take a “bathroom” break.
  • While Exasperating is talking, attempt to take off all their clothes. Look like you’re trying to be subtle. Obviously there’s nothing subtle about disrobing someone in public but when I imagine it in my head, it looks better if you act like you don’t want them to notice. Do not stop till they walk ( or run ) away.
  • Throwing up on someone is the fast track to never having to see someone again. Your regurgitated lunch is something only your family and dearest friends can endure. Spend the rest of your time with them ( if any ) chasing them around, threatening to do it again.
  • As soon as Exasperating is near you, throw your arms around them and start weeping. Offer absolutely no explanation. When they try to pull away, slap them and dash off screaming, ” How could you do this to me!” .
  • Allude, continuously, to having slept with their Moms. Let no comment from Exasperating pass without mentioning their mother and how you “hit that”. This may seem slightly disrespectful, I know but if you haven’t actually slept with their mother then it’s totally okay ( I guess ). Here are some examples:

Example 1

Exasperating: What’s up with the weather? It’s so hot!

You: What’s up with your Mom? She’s so hot.

 

Example 2

Exasperating: How was your day?

You: Fantastic. Just like last night with your Mom was.

 

Example 3

Exasperating: This steak is firm but still so juicy

You: Funny. That’s what your mother said about me.

I meet a number of people I don’t enjoy all too often, so if you have any more ideas for me  feel free to add them in the comments section below.

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